(1966) dir. Jun Fukuda
This viewing came about because my son somehow remembered and channelled the title of one of the Godzilla movies that we watched trailers for on our little Godzilla night (which included Son of Godzilla (1967) and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)) last year. He’s virtually not spoken of Godzilla since then, then suddenly asked if we could watch this one. I said, “sure”, queued it up, and sat down to watch it with him and my daughter.
It’s an interesting thing, returning to these films as a father of children the age that I was when I liked them. Not being a particular aficianado per se, I don’t know all the history and development of the series. This one, I don’t think I’d ever seen before. I am pretty sure about that.
The story is pretty goofy and far-fetched, even from the get-go. A “country” boy whose brother is lost at sea, after consulting a medium, goes to try to get a boat in the town, hooks up with two duration dance contest losers and an escaping safe-cracker on a stolen yacht, sailing out into the adventure of the South Seas. With a fairly humorous sidekick, I figure that the characters and narrative were written with some intentional humor.
The “Sea Monster” is a giant lobster or prawn. My son, after a certain point, said, “Is the lobster the Sea Monster?” with obvious disappointment. Not exactly the most notorious of villains that Godzilla had to dispatch. In fact, the battle royale is like a scene at many a Red Lobster restaurant, I would presume.
Actually, there is a lot more cockamamie narrative dealing with “The Red Bamboo”, an evil military group enslaving Polynesian natives and building nuclear bombs. I did like the guy with the eyepatch, especially his double-take when his superior asks him “Are you BLIND!?!” when one of the natives escapes. Mothra even drops by for an air rescue.
I have to think, that even in the filmography of the great Godzilla, that this film is considered pretty fluffy. Still, the surf rock soundtrack was pretty sweet. And the dancing natives…they were…strange. That said, the kids enjoyed it.
I think there will be more Godzilla in my future.